Thursday, May 14, 2015

Mother's Day

My Experiences with Mother's Day
Every year on Mother's Day, and the few days leading up to it, my Facebook news feed gets loaded down with Thank You Mother notes. I can understand for the majority of people, this is a normal every year occurrence. I admit I never used to think of this day as something horrible and with dread. When I was growing up, I even went and made my own cards to give to my mother on this day.
One of my Mother's Day cards growing up

Then I moved from the US to Australia and I was so busy with the move, I didn't realize the day I picked, May 9, was Mother's Day. I remembered earlier that day, but between getting to the airport and my mother's "Well are we done yet? Can I leave?" mixed with with "If you get into any trouble over there I don't want to know" type of statements the statement for Happy Mother's Day just withered away along with my positive attitude on that day.

Then after we married and started to try for children, each step got a little harder during certain days and holidays. This was one of them. Now? Now, after over 15 years of trying to have children, and still no live birth, during these days, I just try and stay away from anything to do with the day because I do understand people being happy about it, but it just makes me feel like crap and a loser as a woman and wife.

How Genealogy helped me
In saying this, I was grateful this year too. Huh? How can you still feel like crap and a loser as a wife and woman?

This year I found ancestors - past women - who I am related to and am thankful they were so strong and together have made me who I am. If these women didn't have the courage and guts then I wouldn't be who I am today.

My Mother
My mother and I

My mother is very strong. Back when she gave birth to me, my father, who was in the US Navy, was out to sea when she went into labor. She was helped by my paternal grandmother to be driven to West Point but then also had to deal with having 4 children at home waiting for her while taking care of a newborn (me). This is the woman I am named after - only because she lost the bet and I'm a girl.

My Maternal & Paternal Grandmothers
My Paternal Grandmother
My Maternal Grandmother

Both of these women were very strong and brave. 
My paternal grandmother, Jean/Geneowfa, who was in my life until my teens, survived Russia, Poland during WW1 and the fighting before WW1. Later, she moved to the US at the age of 10 and learned English and about America. Later, she married, had children, and owned businesses in Newburgh, NY. Everyone loved and respected her and knew better than to try and take advantage of her.

My maternal grandmother, Janet (whom I'm part named after), I only had met a few times in my life. She was born in Pennsylvania,USA. She had many brother's and sisters, but sadly lost a few siblings before they turned 5 due to diseases. Later, she met my grandfather, married and moved to New York to be near his family. They struggled as employment wasn't the best, but she always had her mother and sister's nearby in Newburgh, NY.

My Great Grandmother's
Maryanna Ślepowron Wojtkowska

Geneowfa/Jean's mother was Maryanna. She grew up in Russia Poland among fighting and unrest. However, she married and had my grandmother while going through this. Then her husband went to the US while her and my grandmother stayed behind. After World War 1, they were finally able to leave Russia Poland on the last ship out before they closed the boarders. She arrived in the US without knowing how to speak the language and had to go through a short interview before being allowed into the country. Once inside, she was able to find relatives and set up a life for her and her family.

No known picture of Anna Klepperich
My paternal great grandmother was Anna Klepperich. She was born in Germany. I'm still looking for information on her.

No known picture of Bronislaw Ostrzycki Jagodzinski
 My maternal great grandmother was Bronisława Ostrzycki Jagodzinski. She, too, was born in Russia Poland, but left with her father and some siblings when she was around 14 years old. Her father changed her name to Bridget when they first arrived. However, when her and her husband split, she then changed her name to Bernice and moved to Newburgh, NY to be near her daughters. 

Ane / Annie / Anna Hansine Larsen Gauquie
My maternal great grandmother was born as Ane Hansine Larsen but was known later in life as Annie Larsen Gauquie. She was born in Alrup, Denmark. By the time she was 17 she was a servant on a farm like her brother and had no mother, father or grandmother. At the age of 19, she left Denmark for St. Paul, the USA. When she was 24, she met her husband and moved to NY where she was a dairy farmer's wife and mother. She lost one child to drowning and another caught Polio. She milked cows and was even known to been injured by them. She was very loved and well thought of in the community. 

My 2x great grandmothers


No known picture of Hansine Emeline Nielsdatter
My maternal 2x great grandmother of Ane (or Annie), was Hansine Emeline Nielsdatter of Denmark. I am still
researching her but I do know she was 42 years old when she passed away according to documents I had found so far.

No known picture of Florentina Van Rompaye
My maternal 2x great grandmother of Joannes Julius was Florentina Van Rompaye Gauquie of Wiekevorst, Belgium. She was a very strong woman as she was a servant when she met her future husband. She got pregnant and was let go of her position, so lived with her widowed brother in-law when she had my great grandfather Joannes Julius. My 2x great grandfather was drafted into the service and it wasn't until he returned home after serving that he found he had a child. Unfortunately, I do not know where she died or is buried.

Walerja (Valerie) Rutkowski Ostrzycki
Another of my maternal 2x great grandmother of Bronisława Ostrzycki Jagodzinski was Walerja (Valerie) Rutkowski Ostrzycki. She was born in Russia Poland where she married and had children.
In fact, when she was 16, she knew who she wanted to marry, but needed special permissions. After going to the church 3 times for bann's or released in the church, her parents finally relented and let them marry. After she had children, the whole family (herself, husband and children) all left Russia Poland for Pennsylvania USA. Where she worked in many positions (including nurse) and lost her 3 youngest children to diseases. She ended up dying from Hodgkin's Disease.

Other Notable Women

On my maternal Jagodzinski's side, I do not know any further information.

On my paternal side, I do not know any further information.

I do have other great's I can go back to but there's only a few lines I can go back that far unfortunately. However, I am still not done looking...and learning.

These are the women that made me who I am, even though I have never met some of them. Each one, a you can see, had a strength in their own way to be proud of and I am proud of them and to be a related to them. If they could do what they did their much different world than what we know of today, then I can surely do the same in today's world. These women give me strength and courage to go on and try things I never would have otherwise.

In fact, I think the women's restroom sign is correct - that its NOT a dress - when you look at this strong line of women I come from.
Taken from
To go through what these women have all gone through, they must have been super women.